News provided by Girl Scout Troop 2131
In the 1980s, the estimated population of monarch butterflies was about 4.5 million. In 2020, the monarch population dropped to around 2,000 butterflies. Some factors of their decline include global warming, illegal logging, pesticides, and loss of wild habitats. Since the 1980s, monarch numbers have fallen about 99 percent. Though the population in 2021 rose up to 151,168 individual butterflies, it is nowhere near its original size.
The needs of a monarch butterfly are simple, and you can help them. Pesticides harm the monarchs, so try to stop using them as much. Monarch caterpillars eat milkweed leaves, which can be found at native plant nurseries such as the Hahamongna Plant Nursery in La Cañada, Plant Material in Altadena, or Artemesia in Alhambra. Make sure to buy native milkweeds and not tropical, as the tropical version can hurt the caterpillar.
This is why Girl Scout troop 2131 has decided to help the South Pasadena Community Garden become a designated monarch waystation on monarchwatch.org. They have raised money and will have a grand opening October 22 from 10am to 12pm at South Pasadena Community Garden located at 1028 Magnolia St. This event is free. In addition, the first 50 visitors will receive a native milkweed plant to start a garden of their own.
The goal is to replace as much tropical milkweed with native milkweed as possible. Visitors will also receive seeds for native milkweeds as well as other butterfly-friendly plants. The troop encourages everyone to create a space that is not only comfortable for people, but also healthy for the wildlife that also inhabit it.